Hong Kong’s rail operator MTR Corporation has called upon tech companies to express their interest in tendering for the application of QR codes for travel in its rail network.

In an official statement, the company explained that it plans to implement the QR code-based payments on existing Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) gates.

Under the new system, passengers will be required to pre-generate a QR-based transit code to enter or exit paid areas of the MTR stations, where they will be required to present the QR code. Information collected from the code will be used for journey construction and fare calculation based on travel-first-and-pay-afterwards mechanism.

MTR Corporation requires interested parties to have Stored Value Facility (SVF) License or be a Payment Card Scheme Operator recognised by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

It also explained that the contract will include two packages: The appointment of an exclusive partner to fund and build the electronic payment system at the existing AFC gates, and the submission of a proposal to use their QR code payment services at the existing AFC gates.

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Prequalification process for the tender has taken place in May with the tenders to be invited in August 2018

Hong Kong will not be the first in Asia to implement QR code on its subway stations.

Since 2011, Taiwan High Speed Rail has implemented QR code to its mobile ticket-booking app, enabling passengers to use QR code to pass through AFC gates.

In January, reported that Shanghai Metro has begun adopting QR code-based payments system that enables passengers to pay for fares using Alipay or China UnionPay.

Enabling quicker entry and exit for passengers, the system has previously been announced in Beijing and Hangzhou.

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